#needleworkmonday | Get Up Stand Up Now - La Jablesse | #reggaesteem

27일 전

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Source La Jablesse, Zak Ové, 2013. This professional photograph, part of the gallery at Rosenfield Porcini, captures the darkness of La Jablesse and the intimations of 18th century dress. You can see the cloven foot on one of the hind legs.

The Lajabless is a character in Caribbean folklore. according to legend, she was born human, though after making a deal with the devil, she became a demon. Every full moon, Lajabless casts spells on her victims: unsuspecting men who have strayed from their wives, whom she seduces, and leads into the forest to a fatal ending.

Zak Ové's La Jablesse takes its form from a hollowed-out tree trunk, referencing her Caribbean roots connecting to Africa. Her clothes are made from fishing nets pulled from the River Thames, a necklace of rusting nails and three bronze trumpets are placed to signify her female anatomy. Her two faces represent her seductive facade and the succubus that lies beneath (From the exhibit labels).

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Poineers at Somerset House, London, celebrated 70 years of black creative artists in the UK from the Windrush era onwards. I visited the Exhibition on Friday: it was easy to become distracted by the immense body of social and political history, people whose names and activities I knew - Darcus Howe, Don Letts, Dennis Bovell - and whose stories are part of my own history.

Amid all the clamour, La Jablesse was the first piece that spoke to me, telling her troubled story. The age old myths about women - the seductress and the succubus. Contrary to the dark lighting and atmosphere of the formal photograph above, I was struck by her power and strength, her proud gaze. To me, she looked like a warrior, the image enhanced by the helmet like mask which formed her second face.

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I was drawn by the textures of the wood and the draped fishing nets and the connections between Africa, the Caribbean and the Thames. England, the Motherland. Perhaps England was La Jablesse, seducing and devouring men.

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I can't decide whether she is trammelled and trapped in her unwieldy limbs and fishing nets and cloven hoof, or whether she is wielding a staff, a Fulani herdsman nymph. Predatory or protecting herself. La Jablesse. Jah Bless.

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Detail of crochet, nets from the Thames and needles used to make nets.


Source Trailer featuring some of the artists in the exhibition including Zak Ové and Errol Lloyd: "Coming to England, we came into contact for the first time with people from the other Caribbean islands. It was a fantastic experience, meeting up in London, that kind of energised us. So there was an element of nationalism, and also a determination for us to redefine ourselves."

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Source Linton Kwesi Johnson, Errol Lloyd, 1972 (Born 1943, Lucea, Jamaica). Lloyd was involved with the Caribbean Artists Movement, which included sculptor Ron Moody, who would become an important figure in Lloyd’s career: “Ronald Moody taught me how to cast my sculpture in bronze resin in his Fulham studio. He had trained as a dentist and brought a precise, scientific approach to the process.” (Source).

Get Up Stand Up Now was a dense, rich exhibition covering many themes and genres - painting, writing, film, photography and sculpture - as well as social and political history. It was housed in the West Wing Galleries, small intimate spaces connected by a central hallway. I'll be returning to some of the other exhibitors including Charlie Phillips and Sam Selvon in later posts.


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Impressive pictures - it looks to have been an interesting exhibition.

Somerset House - wasn't that the place where wills used to be stored? And yes, I read a lot of old-fashioned crime fiction ;)

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It was a fantastic exhibition: I went in twice, but I still didn't get to see everything. I've recorded the things that caught my attention, but I could easily have spent a week there. It was very busy, too.

Yes, records used to be kept there - births, deaths and marriages. Originally, it was one of the Royal Palaces, and then home to England's fledgling Civil Service.


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Wow, nice folklore. I like her story. The artist piece is marvelous in terms of using such materials reminding of his roots.

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It is an interesting story, isn't it? I agree with you the artist has created an amazing piece.


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Beautiful Post!
Trini was my first caribbean Love since 2000,
now i'm a little closer to Jamaica.
Very interesting the british-caribbean History!
And this:"...La Jablesse. Jah Bless..." might be a
big piece of wisdom/history!
Good stuff @shanibeer ;)

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I enjoyed writing it. I get too bogged down in choosing pictures and checking sources, the writing suffers a bit, a shame because as I start writing more connections start to come to me.

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Yeah, i feel you...
And then it becomes a never ending story ;)
I also read for one of my jobs, so i enjoy pics
and movies ;)

@shanibeer, In my opinion these kind of places protects the history and stories of Ancient Culture and when we explore them then they showcase those times which is almost impossible to see now. Stay blessed.

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Thank you @chireerocks, I believe that is so.

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Welcome. Let's hope for the best and let's do best.

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Ooh La Jablesse is very cool! I like her sculpture a lot. A lot of times the female Goddess/supernatural being is depicted as "bad" for doing things to men, but often she is taking revenge for things done to her and so is a figure of female empowerment to me. Your post doesn't say but I wonder if she was wronged in life and that's why she made the deal to become herself in the first place.
Thank you for sharing your trip to the exhibit - and thanks for contributing to my first aid kit! <3 I appreciate you so much.

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There're lots of different stories about her, but with the common theme of becoming a demon. They reminded me of the Wide Sargasso Sea - the Creole heiress who is married to a not very pleasant Englishman for her fortune and who goes mad isolated from every thing that she knows. It's a prequel to Jane Eyre, if you know that novel with the "mad" woman in the attic? So you could be right, it's a protection or a way of gaining power in precarious circumstances. I liked the way she called to me in the gallery, it was noisy and so many interesting distractions. It was hard to let go and let the art say what it had to say - or the pieces that had resonance for me, anyway 😎 But she called.
The first aid supplies - my pleasure and likewise 😍

Perhaps England was La Jablesse, seducing and devouring men.

It sucked people in from all over including my Irish parents after the war.

Just been watching a documentary about the Irish slaves in the islands.

The black Irish of Nevus and Monserrat. Amazing history and explains the strong bonds between the Irish and West Indian folk.

The way women have been portrayed down the ages?
Almost always very negatively. Interesting video. I get the cultural divide 100%
I felt more at home in South Africa than I ever did in the UK?

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What was the documentary called? Sounds interesting.
Portrayal of women - I wish I could say things have changed for the better.
You will have to tell me about South Africa.

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Check this out. Amazing accents.

South Africa was/is brilliant. I love that country and it's people. They all get along fine in my experience.
It usually gets a bad press.
Sound familiar?

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That was very interesting and I agree - those accents!
How's life with you? Can hardly believe it's only a week since Cambridge, feels like so much longer. Was such a nice day, very relaxed.

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Those islanders had a fascinating history.
I'm well thank you and hope you are ok too, it's been a hectic week my side. My daughter moved into her new home this week.

I agree it seems like months ago that we all met up in Cambridge. Very odd?

I've been working on a new guitar video which should be done by tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

The video footage from Cambridge was a bit of a let down with no audio. Still it might come in useful sometime? If I can think of something creative to do with it? 👍😋

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Maybe a speeded up edit with Benny Hill music? :)~

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Haha what an excellent idea except I'd probably get a copyright claim?

Good idea though. I'll cogitate on it. 👍

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50 years for copyright? May be out of it by now.

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50 years for copyright? May be out of it by now. Oh no, just checked - lifetime and 70 years after.

Not the kind of art that most would want in their living room but it would be a great addition for a Halloween party.


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Terrible for dusting, too.
It has no price on it, so I suspect it is a lot of money.

Interesting post, I gotta a little history into the Caribbean and UK connection as well the art movement. La Jablesse would make an interesting Caribbean horror movie, women especially would love it 😄


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I guess :) Someone was making a zombie film here and everyone wanted to be an extra he he :)~

Visiting exhibitions is thirsty work - have a !BEER

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Thanks, @muscara. Let me try giving you a !COFFEE (I'm not sure my tips always work) :)

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I bought some of these token myself but haven't had the time to figure out how they work. So far I keep to beer (hey, I'm German!).

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I'm laughing!

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